The Peter Kent school of journalism -

The Peter Kent school of journalism

The environment minister identifies an “activist”


The Environment Minister pointedly objects to a story by Mike De Souza* by suggesting that De Souza is an “environmental activist” who favours a carbon tax. Here is the full letter, as printed by the Windsor Star on January 4.

I am writing to clarify a few points from Mike De Souza’s Dec 24 article regarding the federal government’s proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from light-duty vehicles. Our government is committed to protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions while minimizing the economic impact on Canadians. We are working with the United States to develop GHG regulations that reflect the highly integrated North American auto sector, which includes thousands of Canadian manufacturing jobs.

Mr. De Souza, like most environmental activists, believes that a carbon tax is the only answer to combat climate change. Our government is fundamentally opposed to broad-based carbon tax schemes like the NDP’s $21-billion plan to tax everything without links to environmental benefits.

Canada has undertaken a sector-by-sector regulatory approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under our plan, industrial sectors are forced to reduce carbon emissions at the smokestack or tail pipe by developing and deploying innovative technology.

Ours is the first Canadian government to reduce greenhouse gases and we will continue act in Canada’s environmental and economic interests.

PETER KENT, federal Environment Minister, Ottawa

Mr. Kent writes that he’d like to “clarify a few points” about the story, but he doesn’t actually identify any particular parts of the story that he objects to. De Souza’s story is a reporting of the costs associated with the government’s new fuel economy standards as those costs are identified and explained by the Harper government in the Canada Gazette. I linked to that cost-benefit analysis here on December 8. And some of those costs were noted when Mr. Kent announced the regulations in November.

The minister’s letter refers to the NDP proposal as a carbon tax. More specifically, the NDP has proposed a cap-and-trade system. This is a bit of a thing. Mr. Kent, for instance, was first elected as a Conservative in 2008, when the party’s platform included a promise to pursue a cap-and-trade system—a measure the minister now equates with a carbon tax.

Joe Oliver tried to use a letter to the editor to make the government’s case in November. Ironically, in that letter Mr. Oliver deferred to the judgement of “eminent economist” Jack Mintz. Mr. Mintz supports a carbon tax as the best policy option to reduce greenhouse gases.

*Full disclosure: I’ve met Mike and I think we’ve chatted briefly a couple times, so I guess we’d qualify as passing acquaintances.


The Peter Kent school of journalism

  1. Thomas Jefferson ~ No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defense. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth, either in religion, law, or politics.

  2. I have to go with Justin’s opinion of Peter Kent.

  3. Glo-Bull Warming is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated in human history.

    • Tell everyone. Especially strangers on the bus. Or better yet, the bus driver.

    • But what of climate change?
      Are there more droughts?
      More frequent and severe storms?
      A melting polar ice cap?
      It may be that these are natural phenomena, but do you think the endless carbon we all create helps matters? Really?
      Do you think that ignoring it all is a solid answer? Is it all just a vast conspiracy?
      Will our grandchildren agree that ours was a wise course of action 50 years from now? How about 75 years from now?

      Billy has all the answers packed into a single soundbite that closes the door on any and all objective debate.
      Gee whiz, but that’s just good common sense, right Billy?

    • We’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate.

    • No, that would be conservatism.

  4. Seems obvious to me that the Cons are starting to strike back at partisan media by not talking to them.

  5. Sad to remember that this man (Kent) used to be a journalist.

  6. Peter Kent’s public persona has slipped considerably, from respected and authoritative journalist, news presenter, and commenter to unprincipled, mindless shill for Con propaganda.

    Sad, really.

  7. I’m no rocket scientist but should we not be a little worried when our government attempts to silence the media?

  8. Not to quibble, and certainly not to defend Mr. Kent – who is as unctuous as they come – but his letter (printed in the only paper that deigned to do so) could be fairly read as *comparing* DeSouza to “most environmental activists” in that he is “like” them. A comparison which, like most of his party’s deeds and actions, is unsupported by fact and wholly unfounded.

    From that point on in Kent’s pathetic missive, logic, common sense and reality fall further apart. However, supporters should be cheered: the Journamalism Lash-Back Action! Plan is now in full and open effect.